Going forward: Emphasis on canon or original characters?

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Sho, Aug 9, 2012.

?

I want to see ...

  1. ... only canon characters (except for guest spots)

    2 vote(s)
    2.4%
  2. ... a focus primarily on canon characters

    24 vote(s)
    28.2%
  3. ... an equal balance of canon and original characters

    48 vote(s)
    56.5%
  4. ... a focus primarily on original characters

    9 vote(s)
    10.6%
  5. ... only original characters (except for the odd cameo)

    2 vote(s)
    2.4%
  1. Sho

    Sho Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'd like to take a reading on what people's interest in canon vs. original characters in TrekLit are. Approach this from an abstract place of just getting the mix you'd like to see, without worrying overmuch about how to get there from the current state of things - obviously even people unhappy with the current ratios wouldn't necessarily want arcs to be abandoned mid-way, and so on.

    However, the recent finale of the Vanguard saga could be said to leave a vacuum that could conceivably be filled by another original cast vs. filling the slots with more canon-focused stories, so the question feels timely.
     
  2. shanejayell

    shanejayell Captain Captain

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    Voted balance of both. I like Trek OCs, and Trek authors developing background characters, it provides more drama for the series.
     
  3. Admiral Rex

    Admiral Rex Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I like a mix of both. Vanguard was great, and I'd like to see another series like it. I also want to read further stories of canon characters and crews.
     
  4. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    I'd like to see some more 24th century books that take place during the varying TV series.
     
  5. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    I prefer to write about the original TV characters, but there's no doubt room for some book-only characters as well.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I don't feel a need to quantify the ratio of onscreen to original characters. It depends on the specific work, and what characters it needs. If I'm writing Titan, say, that's mainly original characters, but if I'm writing post-TMP, that's mainly canonical characters. Also, I tend to take obscure onscreen bit players and develop them into essentially original characters, so it's hard to draw a clear line there.
     
  7. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    When it comes to the overall series I prefer to see a combination of per-existing & new characters.
     
  8. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

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    I voted for an even balance, but really, I'm good with whatever works in a story so long as it's a good story.
     
  9. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Ferguson, MO, USA
    I'm another for both. I like the various incarnations of Trek to evolve over time with some canon characters moving on with their lives and careers after awhile and new original characters replacing them.
     
  10. Trek Survivor

    Trek Survivor Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Voted for a focus on canon characters. Fed up of Ensign Mary Sue. The post-Nemesis books have, I feel, ignored the main characters a little too much. I'm all for "guest" characters, but I feel there has been an imbalance of late.
     
  11. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Trek lit's original characters have been rather hit and miss. No more blantant imports of characters from over TV shows, please (looking at you, Dr. Cambridge)

    I'm a big fan of this.
     
  12. Drago-Kazov

    Drago-Kazov Fleet Captain

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    There should be an option for videogame characters too.
     
  13. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I agree with this, but at the same time, I also enjoy new characters and settings.

    I vote for a mix.
     
  14. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Me too. I especially love what the authors did with the TV characters in SCE/CoE. KRAD also seemed to do some good stuff with the Klingons in IKS Gorkon/Klingon Empire although for those all I've read so far is the pilot story, Diplomatic Implausibility, so I can't judge the series itself. Then of course there's Peter David and the New Frontier characters....
     
  15. CaptainDonovin

    CaptainDonovin Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I went for the even balance as well, but I agree that as long as the story I good I'm in. I do like a lot of the original characters that have appeared over the last several years, Vaughn, Calhoun, Vale & many of her shipmates, there is a nice mix right now.

    I will say my favorite original character is President Bacco, she is just an enjoyable character to read.
     
  16. Ian Keldon

    Ian Keldon Fleet Captain

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    Dec 22, 2011
    I voted for primarily OCs. I think most all of the "canon" characters and settings have been more or less played out.

    With the Prime universe now pretty much left to the novels to continue, I believe that the Trek line has a chance to grow beyond the confines of TOS/TNG/DS9/VOY/ENT. Explore that universe and show us something new.

    Show us the adventures of an old Constellation class ship struggling to keep the shipping lanes safe in the post-DW universe. Show us the staff of the Federation Consulate on Sigma Iotia still working after all these years to get the Iotians moving towards a less "mob-based" society.

    The books could even move outside the "Starfleet paradigm". I'd love to read a good crime story set on Sigma Iotia with an Iotian "family" fighting to keep their territory safe against the incursions of the Orion Syndicate.

    Or maybe a noir piece set on that planet O'Brian infiltrated the Syndicate on, featuring a hard-boiled shamus just trying to keep body and soul together while constantly dealing with the proverbial "suddenly, two men burst into the room with phasers" situations.

    Or how about a "tramp freighter" story set in the DMZ colonies before there WAS a DMZ. Something "Tales of the Gold Monkey" style only with Cardassians, etc as the bad guys?

    It's a big universe, and, as I said, with the Prime universe all but defunct outside the books, it's time to let that world out of the "nest" and spread its wings.
     
  17. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    ^That's the kind of stuff I would love to see them do as e-books. E-books just strike me as a better medium for the more experimental stuff.
     
  18. Sho

    Sho Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I voted for "primarily OCs" myself. While I of course won't turn down a good story staffed by canon characters and do enjoy reading about what becomes of them, somehow I am always a little distracted by the mental background activity of comparing an author's interpretation of a character against my recollections of their onscreen presence. With OCs I find it easier to immerse myself in the tales, and I've thoroughly enjoyed getting to know new crews like the da Vinci's or the Vanguard cast, or Bacco and her staff. I also agree with Ian Keldon on being interested in exploring additional facets of the setting through types of characters not featured in the shows.
     
  19. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    One of my favorite things about Vanguard was the variety of character types. Before Vanguard, I never thought we'd get a series with an ambassador, a journalist, a lawyer and a mercenary in the regular cast.
     
  20. Sho

    Sho Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    ^ Yep, exactly. Pennington and Jetanien are probably my favorite Vanguard characters.

    I should add that I also tend to enjoy what Christopher has been proposing (and doing), i.e. taking characters seen only briefly in canon and really fleshing them out in the novels. In context of what I was saying earlier, this still feels much like an OC. Even though there's already a visual in my head placed by the shows, there's not as much of a behavioral template to fill out.